Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are leaving their U.K. home.
The couple today confirmed that the royal family has asked the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to move out of Frogmore Cottage, their house on the grounds of Windsor Castle. “We can confirm the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been requested to vacate their residence,” a spokesperson told Vogue.
The news comes after several reports in the British press that King Charles wanted to take Frogmore back from the couple. Originally a gift from Queen Elizabeth in 2019, the couple continued to use it as a U.K. base even after they quit their royal roles and moved to the United States in 2020.
Why? It’s said Charles wants Prince Andrew to live in the five-bedroom home instead. Andrew—who in February 2022 paid an undisclosed sum to settle a sexual assault case brought against him by Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre, and was subsequently stripped of his titles in April 2022—currently lives in the 31-bedroom Royal Lodge. Reports say that the king is looking to cut his funding, making his upkeep of such an estate impossible.
While it’s clear there is still much up in the air, it raises questions about the duke and duchess’s future in the United Kingdom. Frogmore Cottage sits on a private estate within Windsor Castle, which also includes the Prince and Princess of Wales’s home of Adelaide Cottage. It is therefore protected by security from intrusion by both the public and the media. Now, the couple will need to arrange their own secure lodging and safety measures when returning to Harry’s home country. As of now, it is unclear when that will be, although King Charles’s coronation is fast approaching on May 6.
The notice from the royal family is just the latest chapter in an ongoing rift between Prince Harry and the Windsors, which began with the bombshell announcement in 2020 that he and his wife wanted to step back from royal life. The fallout has continued over the years since, reaching a fever pitch in January when Prince Harry published his tell-all memoir Spare. In it, he painted a series of damaging allegations against his family, including that his brother, Prince William, physically attacked him.
The couple will now reside full-time at their home in Montecito, California.
Originally published in Vogue.com